The analyses has come from the collection of primary research data collected by researchers from Group B, Team Wallingford, it was conducted through a semi structured interview with Club secretary the secretary to the Wallingford Rugby Football Club.
Using qualitative research methods from a structured designed questionnaire that was designed by Club secretary and additional questions that were designed and structured by Group B, Team Wallingford, a team of student researchers from Oxford Brookes University with the objective to obtain data which could be used to better the future of the Wallingford RFC as part of the preplanning phase for the 2015 Rugby World Cup to be held in England. In addition other quantitative methods from structured questionnaires surveys, designed by other members of the research group were used.
Further to these methods existing literature from some secondary research sources was also used i. e. club websites etc. From this data I have managed to put together this SWOT analyses. My evaluation findings and conclusion will be made in the following report. Strengths History – Wallingford RFC is a well-established club founded in 1967, thus being a recognized name brand in itself attracting players on its reputation. “WRC is the best rugby club in the 10-15 mile radius of Oxford” according to Club secretary (Ref, A1), indicating the strength of the club brand identifies what lengths players will travel to play for the club i.
e. travel 20 minutes to play rather than go to a club closer to them identified in appendix 1 (Ref, C1). Q1 appendix 2 (Ref, H1) identifies the strength of loyalty toward the club by the length of time spent as a club member and as part of the community. Do it for the club” is the motto of WRC. Through increased memberships and thereafter the income from their revenues the higher the membership the more financial stability holding for the club (Ref, L1). Tag Rugby – The emerging variations of rugby played by business men i. e. ‘Tag Rugby’ (Ref, A1).
Differing from the full contact game, it is increasing future memberships which benefits the club through the business contact it brings for possible future sponsorships and increased funding, plus the additional revenue raised for the use of facilities (Ref, E1). International Tour – Established international Tour events for all teams, gives players additional benefits for playing for the club by extending the club season with additional games aimed at players whom love playing all year round and enjoy the rugby social scene (Ref, A1).
Additional benefits – Players and member’s additional benefits (Ref, N1) offer health care and fitness advice, through the clubs physiotherapist who treats members free of charge and gives nutritionist advice to those who require help i. e. diet plans for those who are trying to lose weight (Ref, A1) which could be the main reason why they play rugby. Club events – Established club events i. e. ‘Rugfest’ music festival, is an annual event enjoyed and supported by members and their friends, family and community catchment area (Ref, N1).
The event is a major financial provider for the club, with an attendance of over 5000 people (Ref, A1). Therefore raising interest through flyers and poster (Ref, O1) in association of the club and the game of rugby as well as the increasing the brand and club awareness of Wallingford RFC, as well as increasing the brand and club value. The benefits created by this annual occurrence give an assurance of revenue and stability towards the clubs income (Ref, E1).
By increasing the reach of awareness through various media used to promote the events or festival it also increases brand awareness and brand value for the club brand thus a desired team to play for and thereafter increasing memberships and revenue (Ref, E1). New technology – Social media and technology developments of digital marketing allow the club to extend the reach of the club brand (Ref, E1), allowing better communication among players and coaches as well as to the
fans, supporters and spectators with real time information and up to date details of what’s happening at the club, allowing its followers to engage and participate with user generated content (Smith and Zook, 2011) thus feeling a part of the club (Ref, A1). Sponsorship – Through sponsorship the club can buy sports equipment needed for teams i. e. rugby balls and kits etc. Sponsorship funding financially (Ref, E1) helps support the club through donations from selected reputable companies (Ref, K1/J1) from within the local community who are willing to shows their strength of support for the club e.
g. in particular the main sponsor ‘Rowse’ who is also the main employer in the community which has many employee connection to the club (Ref, A1) . From investing and sharing their good names through a 2 way identification transfer of image increasing brand value and raising the level of the brand dynamic of all parties. This has a positive economic factor by saving the cost of advertising to the club as this would be paid for by the sponsors (Ref, E1), however through media exposure of the club the sponsors would also gain the same benefits.
And thus increase its brand awareness in the market place adding brand value to all (Meenaghan and Shipley, 1999). Weaknesses Facilities- Although there are many strengths within the club, there is however a lack of funding for Wallingford RFC’s ‘Sports Park’ facilities which is noted for improving of the poor state of repairs in appendix 3 (Ref, C1). The changing rooms as well as social and catering areas for hospitality are terrible as there is know where to enjoy the game atmosphere.
According to Club secretary (Ref, A1) “They need 2. 5 million spent on a refurbishment” (Ref, A1). These conditions can have an adverse effect to all visiting teams, spectators and home supporters by discouraging customers and decreasing spending in the bar therefore reducing revenue to the clubhouse (Ref, E1). Teams and their supporters would rather go elsewhere. Thus this has created an opportunity for the Old post office to issuing vouchers to winning teams to eat at their restaurant and a loss to the Sports Park.
Funding – Wallingford RFC is a non-professional team and do not charge admission such as professional football teams therefore no gate revenues is accrued to fund the cost of the refurbishment works needed for the Sports Park facilities (Ref, A1) due to the lack of funds (Ref, E1). Volunteers – According to Club secretary (Ref, A1) volunteers are decreasing every year, this due to the participation of time incurred through the socio cultural differences of involvement of the many tasks needed at the club i. e. coaching of junior teams (Ref, E1). which can be very demanding on one’s time and availability.
Contributing factors could be the increase in working hours (Ref, A1) in the working man’s week (Ref, E1). However this increases pressure on those who remain to attend the tasks required leaving them feeling more disgruntled by the efforts they are put through. Therefore decreasing morale amongst those who volunteer and therefore increasing the risk of others leaving the club (Ref, A1). Volunteer Coaching – Although there is a supported fan base from which to gather volunteers from, their coaching capabilities are of a poorer standard and not adequate enough for top league coaching standards and socio cultural difference (Ref, E1).
Many coaches have come from the junior leagues following their children through various stages, however due to the myopia of parents or ex-players following coaching cohesion with their child’s rugby evolution (Ref, A1). What coaching techniques learnt from of a particular age group is never passed on to the following generations and do not look at the bigger picture of the clubs growth through various levels and different standards. Parents therefore preferring to go into an older aged group with their child and having a lesser knowledge of the newer older age group therefore has a disadvantage of the events of the coming seasons.
Time spent on coaching is time consuming and due to the average time spent in the working week there is little time left over to coach, this identifies that the quality of experienced coaching techniques cannot simply be passed on to team players otherwise this will lose the beneficial experience and improvement players require, therefore inadequate coaching lowers morale and self-esteem and prompts players to go to other clubs, thus the club retention of that player is lost (Ref, A1).
Communications – Poor communication will lead to a diversity of the club, thereafter it will lose the dynamics and unity of its members and thus the loss of the combined and increased revenue. Club secretary said (Ref, A1) “It was a struggle to get mini and juniors to come and support senior teams play. They were trying to work on a more union approach. More unity amongst the groups would be important”. Through good communication a stronger financial team will have the means to take opportunities when they arise (Ref, A1) i. e.
this could be done through the use of social media platform technology, such as Facebook which some already use as identified in appendix 4, would give all involved, access to a communication system that would help and inform all concerned, therefore eliminating a communication problem (Ref,E1). Opportunities Emerging associated sports – The emerging technical developments (Ref,E1) of the increased awareness of Tag rugby teams (Ref, A1), indicates future interest if supported could see the emergence of new leagues appearing throughout rugby clubs.
This identifies the possibility to combine with other clubs and the opportunity to create an affiliated body, with championships tournaments and cups etc. This new team sport could diverse from the common and more traditional game of rugby, however this could prove fruitful and gain an increase in club memberships and revenue (Ref, E1). What is more, through the new business members there could be possibilities to build new relationships with sponsors through the player’s networks.
Additionally there is the possibility that players could develop skills and confidence to be enticed into the full contact game experience for the club (Ref, E1). Coaching courses – the sports council invests funding in sports based developments to increase the sports community structure within the UK. This is done at every level throughout the year on hundreds of various different projects. Through the involvement of the RFU and a government backed support
the incentive to possibly train players who have an interest in sport to become coaches, fitness instructors or referees as indicated in appendix 5 (Ref, C1). This would benefit the club through numerous ways by increasing volunteers and support of socio cultural benefits which would help the club (Ref, E1) by taking pressure of those existing overworked volunteers (Ref, A1), also through the skills of fitness and knowledge acquired it could be possible to set up a personal training structure for members and the public thus creating another revenue for the club (Ref, E1).
Music event growth – ‘Rugfest’ (Ref, A1) attendance could increase capacity though professional marketing on a year on year increase through further research of its consumers’ needs and wants. From obtaining consumer data marketers could analyse and evaluate what the festival consumer required. Thereby by targeting selected consumers through strategically planned marketing promotions they would have a better chance to satisfying them and retaining their loyalty thus increasing the brand value and increase brand awareness.
This would also have socio cultural effect on the town of Wallingford, as this would attract and increase the festival audiences generating an influx of visitors to the town (Ref, E1). This would benefit the clubs economics (Ref, E1) and the sport financially from their annual return visits to the festival Town. Through increased popularity of the brand awareness will be gain increasing the strength of the brand value and higher caliber of visitors consumers of the festival by attracting possible influencers i. e.
celebrities, key RFU league players. That will help endorse the club and its brand, thus raising the brand awareness and brand value of the club by attracting a broader scope of players from which to draw from. Thus being the preferred team to play for increasing membership’s and revenue. However there may be barriers of legalities and licenses however through the local involvement and community spirit these factors could be overcome by following the same procedures as with previous events held over the past 5 years (Ref, E1).
Threats Competition – Competition from other clubs threaten the retention of players loyalty due to the professionalism in some of the other clubs that have more financial leverage than Wallingford RFC (Ref,E1) i. e. Banbury RFC ((Ref. A1) has wealthy key sponsors who are financially willing to pay players to play in order for their team to win and increase the awareness and brand value of the club and sponsors brand name.
This can be an incentive to lure any players wishing to earn extra cash in the present economic climate where they can get paid for something they like doing (Ref,E1), as a rule this is something WRFC have decline to participate in as it is not in their constitute to do so (Ref, A1). Non- participation of rugby – The lack of interest shown in some schools due to either teachers or pupil’s lack of interest in non-participation in rugby as a whole through a social cultural issue (Ref, E1), will decline the lifeblood and players entering the sport of rugby (Ref, A1).
Therefore it is important to create an awareness to compensate for the lack of interest shown. Available free time – Other choices The emergence of other sports, entertainment, lifestyles and pastimes of a social cultural nature are major deciding influences of a participants limitations and their available time becomes a key factor when making a choice (Ref, E1).
Increase in the working week limits available time to play rugby (Ref, A1) therefore the decline in the population of rugby participation as a whole and consequently clubs could reduce in size (Ref, A1). Therefore revenues deplete from the lack of memberships and revenue. Through larger overheads expenses become a much greater financial burden and thus greater pressure is forced upon those clubs, possibly causing them to disband.